Choosing a Montessori School For Your Child

This is a burning question in most parent’s mind when they are looking for a Montessori school for their child / children. What does it take for a school to be classified as a real, authentic Montessori school? Are there a governing body that accredits a Montessori school? Are there specific international standards to the curriculum? There are many Montessori-based schools around the world. How do we than know what is the hallmark of an authentic Montessori school? The first thing we can look out for would be the environment. In Montessori terms, the environment is known commonly as the “Prepared Environment”. It simply means that it is a place that is prepared by a trained and knowledgeable Montessori Directress. This environment is described as a positive and enriching place which facilitate and meet up to the child’s developmental needs and the process of self-construction. It is also a place where all possible learning obstacles are removed. An authentic Montessori school must have the following principles; Freedom, Reality and Nature, Development of Community Life, Structure and Order, Simplicity and the Montessori Curriculum which includes; Montessori Practical Life – Teaches the child important life skills. Montessori Sensorial Exercise – Refines the child’s 5 senses. Also acts as pre-Mathematics for the Montessori methodology. Montessori Language – Develops the child’s 4 areas of language development (speaking/listening/writing/reading) Montessori Mathematics – Prepares the child to work in total abstraction in all the 4 operations. Montessori Cultural Education – Introducing Zoology, Botany, History and Cultural subjects to the child. In addition to the above mentioned, the teachers in the school must be trained in the Montessori Methodology. It can be either a professional certification or in-house training conducted by an experienced qualified Montessorian. As Montessori Methodology is getting more popular with parents these days, a lot of pre-school which uses other early-childhood teaching methodology is incorporating some form of Montessori elements into their curriculum. These Montessori lessons are normally carried out in a half an hour – forty-five minutes format in a “Montessori Lab”. This format may not be as effective as the child is not provided with the platform in-line with the Montessori concepts to aid them in the developmental process. The hallmark of a quality preschool is its role as a bridge for children’s transition to formal education, providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge for the next level of their education journey. In general, when parents are choosing a preschool for their children, they should consider the following factors: Physical environment of the school Cleanliness and hygiene of the school Qualification of the teaching staff Disposition of the teaching staff Curriculum of the school Routine care aspect of the school Supplementary enrichment programmes As for identifying a good Montessori school, parents should first conduct their own research on what the Montessori methodology is. With this understanding, they will be able to judge if the school is implementing the Montessori approach. The easiest way to identify a good Montessori school would be to take a look at the classroom. The classroom must be equipped with Montessori materials from the 5 main areas of learning. Parents are also encouraged to observe a class in progress at the chosen preschool. They are to observe if freedom is given to the children in the classroom in terms of their movements, choice of using the Montessori materials and etc. Parents can also request the school to explain to them how Montessori lessons are generally being carried out and how they monitor a child’s progress and development. In line with the Montessori philosophy, presentations on the usage of the materials are to be carried out on a 1-to-1 basis. Parents may also wish to opt for a trail with the school and then make an observation on how the lessons are being carried out.

Montessori Way ; The 3 Period Lesson

  The 3 Period Lesson (commonly known as 3PL) in The Montessori Methodology of Education is widely used by educators all around the world to introduce concepts and names of objects to young children.  The 3PL is based on a simple law of work which is within all children; the law of repetition. Children have the ability to recognize pattern and with repetition, they will be able to internalize and remember various concepts. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius With reference to the above quote, the child will be able to hear, see and touch the objects or concepts that you are introducing to him by following the simple yet effective 3PL.  The 3 PL can be further simplified into a very simple summary; Introducing the concepts or names of the objects – Repetition by reinforcing the concepts or names of the objects – Understanding of the concepts or names of objects are being tested. – Conclusion of lesson by reinforcing the names of objects or concepts to the child. Here is a simple rundown of how you can use the simple 3 Period Lessons at the comfort of your home. You can introduce any and everything within the child’s environment by using this method. Let us know how it goes!   1st Period (Introduction): – Bring out the materials one at a time. (Isolation – 1 Object / Material / Concept at a time) Introduce the name of the material to the child. “Jane this is (Name of Object / Material / Concept). Would you like to say (Name of Object / Material / Concept)?” Do like-wise for the rest of the Object / Material / Concept.   2nd Period (Reinforcing): – Bring out ALL Object / Material / Concept and place them in random. (In no particular sequence) Ask the child to show you the Object / Material / Concept that you have asked for. “Jane would you like to show me (Name of Object / Material / Concept)?” Do like-wise for the rest of the Object / Material / Concept.   3rd Period (Testing the child’s understanding):- Bring out the Object / Material / Concept one at a time (in no particular sequence) (Isolation – 1 at a time) Ask the child to tell you the name of the Object / Material / Concept you point at. “Jane would you like to tell me what this is?” Repeat for all materials.   Conclusion: – Bring out all the Object / Material / Concept and place them horizontally infront of the child. “Jane, today we have learnt the names of materials and they are (Name of materials), (Name of materials) and (Name of materials).”   Things to note:- Take note that control of error for a 3PL will always be the teacher. Reason being that the teacher is the one giving the information to the child.   Do allow the child to feel the object whenever it is possible. Eg. “Jane, the apple is red, would you like to hold and feel the apple and say red. “   With Love, Team Montessori Children Academy